Core Beliefs, as illustrated by The Oatmeal

read the rest

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

“This comic was inspired by this three-part series on the backfire effect from the You Are Not So Smart Podcast.

If you want to learn more about the backfire effect and other related behaviors (confirmation bias, deductive reasoning, etc), I highly recommend listening to the whole thing:
Podcast Part 1Podcast Part 2Podcast Part 3” – the Oatmeal

also, as I pointed out to my friend Ally Alberts Howard, the Amygdala looks like a seahorse in real life. Wanna see?

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The Amygdala looks like a seahorse.

Goodness of Fit in Volunteering

Created with Microsoft Fresh PaintEarlier this week I got an early morning text from one of my more interesting acquaintances. He wanted to know if I worked with the homeless population because he was interested in exploring involvement with these services.

Happy dancing ensued. I have no rhythm so it was ugly – but joyful. About 4 years ago I tried to connect this dude with some like minds. Not because of the good work he could do – and yes, he is fully capable of great good things – but because I always like a good romance, or in this case, I smell a BROMANCE.

Do you ever think about the people you know from all of your social circles and realize that you could play a rousing hand of “Go Fish” with the matches and pairs of similar people in your hand? No? Oh, well I do. I amuse myself by thinking about pairings of people the same way that others make combinations of chocolate and wine. I love people, so this is what I do.

I want to introduce S* and R* (who are already cohorts) to J*. R has a depth of soul that few humans manage to know exist, much less achieve. Goodness drips out of his pours but he is no hippy slacker, he is a “type A” go-getter with awesome chef skills. I am perpetually bummed that I am not more like him.  S is all kinds of personality fun. He can toss out one-liners while balancing double column accounts and quoting insulin price fluctuations. He is a patient and awesome father and he lets my little daughter play with his in his office. Enter J. J is fun, he goes places, does things, knows stuff and is learning to cook (do you hear that R, he cooks!). He runs a concierge tech business with a couple of other guys so I know that male friendship is in his wheelhouse.

Why is this important to me? Well, because great changes come from great teams – and great teams have teammates  who like each other and respect the products of the groupings.

I am hoping this works out, I smell Bromance and great things.

Wealth vs Worth in 1 Picture

In “the Bible Corrected by God” God is changing the captions of the rich to “poor” and vice versa.

It was super windy in Los Angeles last night. The screen blue off of my bedroom window. As I walked across my front yard and then started trying to try to catch up with the tumbling metal Square I took a moment to realize that I was so lucky to even have a window or home. I wonder what it must have been like for the people living in their tents that have their tents try to blow away with the only wait and then grounding them down be their bodies.

Do the people who were blown about last night deserve comfort and security? I like the think that they’d you deserve those things they just can’t afford those things. And when we make a list of things are entitlements that everybody should have, I like to think that housing is one of those things that we should make if not a human right, an “American Right”.

I live in the country of the greatest innovators of the world. This is the country where the assembly line comma the modern car, light bulbs, stop signs, peanut butter, super computers, and the internet or dreamed of, created, and brought into reality. I simply don’t understand why we can’t build basic housing for everybody. A basic starter level housing even if it’s long project like rooms connected one to the other so that people have a roof and walls and access to indoor plumbing. It wouldn’t be a place where people would want to live but it would be a place where they could live and I’m starting pad to move up from or a safety net to land in. Nobody here needs to be homeless. We have a great deal of unskilled workers and an educational system which seems bent on keeping them on skills. We have Warriors returning from the Armed Forces who need something to do. Building these types of housings would keep them employed and give them skillful and gainful trades.
People who are housed are less likely to be sick and to call nine-one-one or two need to go to the emergency room or two be a burden on the taxpayers dollars. The money we would invest in simply housing people will come back to us in savings over and over again.
I live in a country where we were told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps but we were also told to do to one another what we would want them to do to us and we called that the Golden Rule. Maybe our next step should be to put boots on our neighbors and help them pull up their bootstraps.

LA has multiple parts. Here is what you need to know about The Valley

Like Ohmigawd. I moved to The Valley permanently four years ago and it is a different world from where I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley or Downtown.

It is a fun little read.

https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/los-angeles/east-valley/things-you-don-t-understand-about-the-valley

Atheist cause poverty?

http://huff.to/2ol9dYEThere is the Bible, then there is the Prosperity Gospel, and then there is Economics.

Could you hold my earrings? I’m going in.

Poverty is caused by lots of things, lack of work, lack of skill to do available work, poor education, no transportation, inadequate child care options, mental illness, physical illness, family trauma, criminal past… but not Atheism.
Seriously, not Atheism.

If you need to go all hardcore Bible on me, then you need to admit that most of the people in the Bible are what we would now consider to be dirt poor. Adam and Eve did not have clothing or a house or indoor plumbing or even a television. Egypt faced a food shortage. People were telling the future by interpreting dreams. Most of the populace could not read or write. Jesus didn’t have a car or socks are probably clean underwear for everyday of the week.

Poverty sucks. That’s a fact. But it is not the worst thing that could ever happen to you and it is not the result of godlessness. People like this drive me up the wall with her craziness. What hat is her point?

Can We Talk About Food?

Food Insecurity  – it is a fancy way for saying “I could go hungry or be unable to feed my family”.

Food is a main part of human budgets. Food is fuel, medicine, community, and comfort – but without food, a person will surely die. Almost 13% of Americans are “Food Insecure”.

  • Food insecurity: “Limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” (Cook & Frank, 2008, p. 193)
    • Low food security: reduced quality and variety of diets
    • Very low food security: disruption of normal eating patterns and hunger
  • The risk of food insecurity extends to people living above the federal poverty level
    • Ineligible for assistance programs
    • Competing expenses (e.g. rent, utilities)

I try not to come  to you with a problem without showing you a solution.

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This is my back yard. That is a 4×8 garden bed with soil that is a mix of mulch, exploded rock and soil.

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It was assembled by volunteers from MEND. (This is my front yard and driveway. Yes, I helped too.) The green barrel is filled with the results of my attempt to clean up before they came.

MEND and other Food Banks give out boxes of food, and that is awesome. What could be better? Having a measure of self sufficiency is better. Being able to grow my own food, control the chemicals on the food, and teaching my child to garden . . . that is better!

Every Tuesday I am in a “Gardening Class” and I have learned all the parts of plants, how to recognize pests, ways to mix plants and how to water. I have seedlings sprouting on my kitchen window preparing to transplant.

 

Jackey of mendpoverty.org
Jackey of the VISTA program photographing how I topped the metal stakes.

Usually these go in soil, but my back yard is mostly pavement so the metal stakes stick up, and were hard to see so I topped them with Rubber Ducks. Yep, I am a mommy and the urge to baby proof doesn’t fade.

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Chef Adam and a volunteer shaking hands after a job well done. 

MEND and the California Master Gardeners are building these and teaching classes to the owners. I am excited to see how well this works and will keep you updated.

I can’t always control my income, but I can control some part of the access to food my family has so we won’t be insecure.

The Importance of Food to Health

Food is a necessary ingredient to sustaining human life. It is also culturally defined the community experience, a family gathering point, personal history, exercise and activity, a component of wellness, a social event, currency, crafts, and employment. (Paraphrased from Chef Richard Weinroth)

Food is expensive – even with coupons and food stamps. It is even more expensive if you don’t ave a lot of money and do not qualify for this type of assistance.  I was at MEND (I know, you are not shocked) asking the staff how they address this for their clients.

  1. The Food Bank
  2. The Food Pantry (where other food banks come for food)
  3. The Hot Lunch Program
  4. Homeless Food Bags
  5. Diabetic Food Boxes
  6. Home Gardening Program
  7. La Collectiva
  8. Kid’s Food Education
  9. Cooking Classes

It seems they have already given this some thought.

I am a terrible gardener. This is just another painful reminder that I am adopted because my parents and grandparents and great grandparents all have had meaningful and fruitful (see what I did there?) relationships with plants. With that in mind, and because I feel comfortable at MEND, I gave #6 a hard look and decided to try the Home Gardening Program.

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint
Hibiscus flower organs up close. It has boy and girl parts . I am glad it doesn’t shop at Target. 

gardeningclassl

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I took notes in the most Sonya way ever, I drew.

I have to say that they take this seriously and I already planted 4 different types of seeds. NExt I have to schedule a home site visit to see if I have room for a 4×8 garden plus soil delivery . I have 3 more weeks of classes.

Tell me why you this this might be a good or bad idea.

Homeless Services are Supposed to Help.

I love Los Angeles and admire the DPSS programs and @SheilaKuehl the BOS member for my neighborhood. After 11 years of working with and around them I have a deep appreciation for them.
So imagine how horrified I am to find out that someone has been homeless for years and has been asking the system for help but not finding any relief.

I just spoke to a mother who “timed out” of the system years ago. When she went into the game program for assistance, her worker was the woman who replaced me at Maximus in Burbank. I know this worker. I trained this worker. This worker knows what to do. 

Nevertheless, this mother was never offered the opportunity to complete her high school diploma which is a major stepping stone chords finding permanent employment or earning enough money to end the poverty of her family. She was placed in a work training program which is a wonderful step but now she has to find her own permanent employment and she is greatly hindered by the lack of educational milestones. She was also not informed of the resources available to her children to pay to get them to school while she came to work. Her small subsidized paycheck has been used to pay for hotel rooms for her family and bus fare for her children. Theoretically the County of Los Angeles would be able to help her pay for the hotel room and get her into a shelter and I’d be paying for her children’s bus fare.
I know you think this may sound excessive and entitled. You are absolutely wrong. Parrots cannot go look for work if their children do not have a safe place to be. If they don’t have a safe home we can spend time in or childcare or somebody will watch them or a school where they can be supervised and learning, a mother or father is that tied to their children. You may have noticed an employer’s do not enjoy it when your bring your family to work with you. Addressing the child care issue and transportation for children is a major step and finding employment and ending poverty for their family. It is one of the reasons I really appreciate the DPSS program.
So this mother is staying in a hotel and connect it to the local shelter which is connected to DPSS and overseen by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. My suggestion is that she contact Sheila kuehl and ask for additional assistance and review of her case.

Just talking to this Mom, I could feel how helpless she was feeling and he’ll frustrated she was. I could see how the term and she’s been and also track all the positive step she’s been making to improve her life and the lives of her children. This mother is doing everything right and somehow everything is going wrong for her. I take it personally, because if I were still a gain worker, this would not be her situation. I hope.